HEVC stands for High Efficiency Video Coding, also known as H.265. It is the successor to Advanced Video Coding (AVC), also known as H.264, which is one of the compression schemes used by Blu-ray.

But what does this mean in practical terms, and is it beneficial to use?

In today’s article, you’ll learn what HEVC is, its benefits, and when to use it.


What is HEVC in Simple Words

High-Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC), or H.265, is the cutting-edge successor to AVC (Advanced Video Coding), known as H.264, which you might recognize from Blu-ray compression.

HEVC’s mission is to deliver AVC’s picture quality but with even tighter compression, meaning less data to handle. This becomes crucial for the future of 4K/Ultra HD content, including broadcasts, Blu-rays, and beyond.

HEVC steps up the game by using coding tree units (CTUs) instead of H.264’s macroblocks, allowing for processing blocks up to 64×64 in size – a leap in efficiency for compressing data.

hevc vs avc

With growing support across devices, from smartphones to professional video equipment, the HEVC codec shines by offering high-quality video at lower bitrates or even better quality at the same bitrates.

This efficiency makes it ideal for streaming, significantly reducing file sizes without sacrificing visual fidelity, perfect for live video enthusiasts seeking top-notch stream quality.

You can also expect higher-quality video without requiring additional storage space or consuming extra data.

HEVC codecs come with support for high dynamic range (HDR) and other cutting-edge video features, offering enhanced visual quality and richer video details.

Keep in mind, though, that HEVC demands more computing power due to its more complex encoding and decoding processes compared to older video standards. Thankfully, as our devices become more powerful, this challenge is steadily diminishing.


HEVC Benefits

HEVC has different benefit, but there is one main advantage that we should mention first.

Why To Use HEVC

The standout advantage of H.265 over H.264 is its ability to deliver equivalent or superior visual quality at half the bitrate. This efficiency in the HEVC codec means transmission bandwidth is utilized more effectively, ensuring top-notch visual quality at a lower cost.

For instance, streaming in 1080p with H.265 requires only 2-3Mbps, a significant reduction from the 4-5Mbps needed with H.264. This positions the HEVC standard as a benchmark for high-quality performance across various applications.

what is hevc

Key Benefits & Features of HEVC

  • Reduced Storage Needs: HEVC significantly cuts down the amount of storage needed for video files.
  • Lower Bandwidth Consumption: Broadcasting demands less bandwidth, making it more efficient.
  • Enhanced Video Quality: Supports resolutions up to 4K and 8K, elevating picture quality.
  • HDR Support: High dynamic range (HDR) inclusion means superior video quality.
  • Efficient Live Streaming: Facilitates quicker, more efficient live streams with high-quality video.
  • Wide Applicability: HEVC’s efficiency and quality set it up for broad adoption.

When To Use HEVC 

The HEVC codec finds its place in a wide array of applications, enhancing everything from streaming services to video conferencing with its advanced capabilities. Let’s dive into some of the primary uses of the HEVC codec.

Live Streaming

Live streaming benefits immensely from the HEVC codec. Thanks to its cutting-edge video compression technology, HEVC enables live streams to be delivered with minimal delay and enhanced quality. This is particularly beneficial for broadcasting live events, sports, and any content that demands real-time delivery.

Virtual Reality (VR) and 360-Degree Videos

For immersive experiences like Virtual Reality (VR) and 360-degree videos, the HEVC codec is a game-changer. These formats demand significant computing power and high-quality video, which the HEVC codec’s efficiency and superior video quality can provide, making it a perfect match for VR and 360-degree content.

4K and Ultra HD Streaming

A standout application of the HEVC codec is in the realm of 4K and Ultra HD streaming. This codec excels by offering superior video quality at reduced bit rates, making it perfect for delivering high-definition content. Its ability to compress files effectively without sacrificing visual quality makes it the go-to choice for streaming 4K and Ultra HD videos.

Video Conferencing 

In the world of video conferencing and telepresence, the HEVC codec is invaluable. These applications demand crisp video and low latency, strengths inherent to the HEVC codec. By employing HEVC, video conferencing and telepresence solutions can provide users with clear, fluid video and audio, enhancing communication and collaboration.

The HEVC codec’s versatility and efficiency make it a cornerstone technology across various digital media applications, promising a future of high-quality, accessible video content.

Mobile Streaming

Considering the processing and data limitations of mobile devices, the HEVC codec’s low bit rate yet high-quality video delivery is a boon for mobile streaming. Many mobile devices now support HEVC, allowing users to enjoy premium video content without excessive data consumption or battery drain.

OTT (Over-The-Top) Services

OTT platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video leverage the HEVC codec to stream high-quality video content. By reducing file sizes while preserving video quality, the HEVC codec enables these services to offer an extensive library of movies and TV shows in exceptional clarity.

Adaptive Bitrate Streaming

Adaptive bitrate streaming, which dynamically adjusts video quality based on network conditions, works seamlessly with the HEVC codec. Its efficient compression allows for a smooth, high-quality viewing experience, even when network bandwidth is limited.



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I hope this guide helped you know the answer to the question: “What is HEVIC?” 🙂


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